I’m too short to reach the post box…

21 January 2019

…and my mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me – just two of the latest bizarre excuses to be provided to HMRC for not completing a self-assessment return on time.

As we approach the 31 January deadline for submitting returns and paying tax for 2017 to 2018, HMRC again reveals some of the most bizarre excuses it has received for not paying on time and some of the most dubious expense claims.

Some of the excuses over the last year include:

  • I was just too busy – my first maid left, my second maid stole from me, and my third maid was very slow to learn
  • our junior member of staff registered our client in Self Assessment by mistake because they were not wearing their glasses
  • my boiler had broken and my fingers were too cold to type
  • my mother-in-law is a witch and put a curse on me
  • I'm too short to reach the post box

And some of the most questionable expense claims include:

  • a carpenter claiming £900 for a 55-inch TV and sound bar to help him price his jobs
  • £40 on extra woolly underwear, for 5 years
  • £756 for my pet dog insurance
  • a music subscription, so I can listen to music while I work
  • a family holiday to Nigeria

We should add that all of these excuses and expense claims were unsuccessful.

HMRC state that help will always be provided for those who have a genuine excuse for not submitting their return on time.

Help is available on GOV.UK, from the Self Assessment helpline on 0300 200 3310, and on social media.

If you think you might miss the 31 January deadline, get in touch with HMRC now – the earlier you contact them, the more they can help.